A Question of Character

A QUESTION OF CHARACTER….Via Steve Benen, the Wall Street Journal reports on the continuing pettiness of the outgoing Republican Congress, which refuses to pass spending bills for a fiscal year that’s already more than two months old. And it’s all out of pique:

Like a retreating army, Republicans are tearing up railroad track and planting legislative land mines to make it harder for Democrats to govern when they take power in Congress next month.

….With Congress turning off the lights this week, there seems no chance of saving the appropriations process. Instead, most of the government will remain on a stopgap bill through Feb. 15, and in kicking this can down the road, the Republican leadership has no idea where it will stop rolling.

“It’s a demonstration of the irresponsibility of Republicans that they would leave this country with this mess,” said the next House speaker, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.). “But we won, we will deal with it.”

It’s astonishing that this hasn’t gotten more attention. Do you remember all those stories that made the rounds after the 2000 election about outgoing Clinton officials trashing Air Force One and the White House before skipping town? There was nothing to it, of course: a few pranks here and there, but otherwise just the normal wear and tear typical of previous transitions, according the General Services Administration, which had (naturally) been called in to do a scorched-earth investigation. Finally, after weeks of anonymous leaks accusing the Clintonites of major vandalism, the director of the White House Office of Administration was forced to admit that he couldn’t document any damage or repairs.

But the stories! There were hundreds of them, all agog over the news that a few staffers had removed the W keys from their keyboards. So immature! So childish!

But Republican legislators punting on half a trillion dollars worth of spending bills because they’re “tired” and they want to gum up the works for the incoming Democrats? It’s barely worth a yawn. Some priorities, eh?